This paper reports on experience with using semantically-enabled network resource models to construct an operational multi-domain networked infrastructure-as-a-service (NIaaS) testbed called ExoGENI, recently funded through NSF’s GENI project. A defining property of NIaaS is the deep integration of network provisioning functions alongside the more common storage and computation provisioning functions. Resource provider topologies and user requests can be described using network resource models with common base classes for fundamental cyber-resources (links, nodes, interfaces) specialized via virtualization and adaptations between networking layers to specific technologies.
This problem space gives rise to a number of application areas where semantic web technologies become highly useful – common information models and resource class hierarchies simplify resource descriptions from multiple providers, pathfinding and topology embedding algorithms rely on query abstractions as building blocks.
The paper describes how the semantic resource description models enable ExoGENI to autonomously instantiate on-demand virtual topologies of virtual machines provisioned from cloud providers and are linked by on-demand virtual connections acquired from multiple autonomous network providers to serve a variety of applications ranging from distributed system experiments to high-performance computing.